Montana activists announced on Thursday that they will proceed with a signature gathering drive for a marijuana legalization initiative, and they laid out multiple internal policies that will be in place to protect circulators and the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
New Approach Montana is behind two proposed ballot measures: one statutory initiative to establish a regulated cannabis market for adult use as well as a constitutional amendment stipulating that only those 21 and older can participate in the market.
Faced with a stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements, the campaign filed a lawsuit imploring a court to allow them to collect signatures digitally. It also requested an extension of the deadline to submit petitions. But after a judge dismissed that case last month—and because the state is gradually reopening—the group said it is moving ahead with plans to collect signatures in person, albeit under strict policies to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.
“As our state reopens for business, we must also reopen for democracy,” Pepper Petersen, political director for New Approach Montana, said in a press release. “Our signature drive will allow Montana voters to exercise their constitutional right to a ballot initiative in a safe and responsible way.”
Circulators must adhere to a number of requirements, including a mandate to wear disposal gloves and use single-use wrapped pens, discarding them after each signature. The must wear masks at all times, except on breaks. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be provided to them. They must maintain six feet of distance from the public, and tables will be set up so that they can witness people signing without getting close. They will also be issued disposable clear plastic bags to carry their supplies in, while backbacks and other reusable storage solutions will not be allowed.
Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 15:22:17 +0000